PSVR2 pricing, release date, and even what the headset actually looks like remain a mystery, but Sony shared plenty of information on the specifications powering its second virtual reality headset.
To better understand what we can expect from the PSVR2, let’s take a look at the specs, dig into some standout features, and compare what’s on the way to the Oculus Quest 2, the Valve Index, and the original PSVR.
Resolution and Display
Check out the graph above for a breakdown on how the PSVR2 stacks up to other VR headsets. Based on what we know about PSVR2 so far, its closest rival would be the Quest 2 in terms of resolution and pixels per eye. However, it is important to note that when the headset gets a street date, it will not have the highest pixel per eye count, as HTC’s Vive Pro 2 (not shown above) still takes that crown, with its 5K head-mounted display that offers a 2448 by 2448 per-eye resolution.
Like the other currently available headsets, the PSVR2 will offer a refresh rate of up to 120Hz and, like the original PSVR, will feature an OLED panel. We previously discussed the difference between an LCD and OLED display when comparing the displays on the original Nintendo Switch and the Nintendo Switch OLED, but the big difference between the two types of displays is how they light up.
LCDs use one (or more) backlights to create a constant light on the screen. Whereas an OLED’s method is to use self-lit pixels because OLED displays work on a pixel-by-pixel basis, meaning it will only light up when there is an image to display. LCDs are typically brighter, but OLEDs allow for better contrast ratios and deeper blacks. Nevertheless, there are some caveats to note when we focus on VR headset displays and not traditional displays such as a TV.
The most obvious one is that OLEDs are a bit more expensive, and as analyst Ross Young noted in a recent research paper when discussing Apple’s rumored VR/AR headset, OLED screens are not as common in modern VR headsets due to a lower pixel density (which can result in lower image quality) when compared to LCD panels in head-mounted displays. Young did note that an OLED panel with a higher pixel density could be incorporated in the tech, but is likely to be more costly. Though we are unsure of the PSVR2’s display’s actual specifics, it is undoubtedly an OLED.
The PSVR2’s inclusion of inside-out tracking is a massive improvement over the first-gen PSVR’s need to use the PS Camera, LEDs, and accelerometers/gyroscopes to track your movement. Similar to the Quest 2, the PSVR2 features four built-in cameras, allowing the headset to track both your movement and the controllers.
But the PSVR2 adds a new, exclusive feature that not even Meta’s flagship VR headset offers: eye tracking. Eye tracking will allow Sony’s forthcoming flagship VR headset to detect motion in your eyes. As the PS Blog notes, this means that looking in a different direction will generate an additional input, which could allow for more immersion in games designed for the PSVR2. Rumors suggest that Valve is working on a second VR headset that may have eye tracking as well, meaning the feature could potentially be used by a wider swath of developers than just those making PSVR2 games.
The PSVR2’s controllers are a standout feature of the new device. Similar to the DualSense PS5 controller, the PSVR2’s Sense Controllers will have haptic feedback and adaptive triggers in each controller, offering a huge leap over the aging PlayStation Move controllers used for the original PSVR.
The inclusion of haptic feedback and adaptive triggers in the Sense Controllers combined with support for haptics in the headset could allow the PSVR2 to provide far greater immersion than its predecessor or other VR headsets like the Quest 2. As the PS Blog post notes, the new sensory features from the headset and controllers will bring players “closer to the gameplay experience,” such as feeling a character’s elevated pulse during tense moments.
Additional Hardware Requirements
The PSVR2 is designed specifically for the PS5, meaning the headset will not work unless connected to the console, as was the case with the original PSVR, which needed a PS4 or a PS5 (with an adapter) along with a PS Camera to work properly. This is in-line with high-end PC-based VR headsets like the Valve Index or HTC Vive Pro 2, which require connection to a VR-ready gaming PC in addition to base station sensors for tracking.
This is in stark contrast to Meta’s widely popular Oculus Quest 2, which is a standalone headset that doesn’t need any additional hardware to play. (That said, the Quest 2 does provide the option to play SteamVR games when connected to a gaming PC.)
Although the PSVR2 will still be tethered to a gaming console, Sony is streamlining (and minimizing) the cables required to use the next-gen VR headset. The PSVR2 will use a single cord to connect to the PS5, and thanks to its built-in cameras, no additional sensors are required. This is a much simpler setup compared to the original PSVR, which required multiple cables, the PS camera, and a small Processor Unit box all cluttering up your play space.
The PSVR2 has yet to receive a release window, let alone a proper release date, and price remains a question mark as well. Hopefully, Sony will share more information on the PSVR2 throughout the year. In the meantime, get the first details on PSVR2’s first announced game, Horizon Call of the Mountain, and check out IGN’s weekly PlayStation show, Podcast Beyond!, for more on the latest news in the world of PlayStation.
Taylor is the Associate Tech Editor at IGN. You can follow her on Twitter @TayNixster.
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